Gong vs. Chorus vs. Rafiki

In the past, if we dived deep into the world of sales enablement platforms, we would often find ourselves at a crossroad between two formidable contenders: Gong and Chorus. 

These industry-leading platforms have garnered attention and acclaim for their ability to transform sales processes and empower sales teams to reach new heights of success. 

But today, in the context of advanced Generative AI that has huge potential to improve sales productivity, we bring one more platform into this equation - Rafiki. 

A platform with a rich feature set, that matches Gong and Chorus, with an attractive pricing plan, and a full White Glove service to offer a customized solution. And it is giving the above two platforms a run for their money. 

Don’t take our word for it.

Let us do an objective assessment of their capabilities and delve into their unique features, strengths, and weaknesses, so you can decide for yourself. 

Let’s roll.

How to choose between Gong, Chorus, and Rafiki? 

Before we do the comparison of these three tools, let’s establish the fact that all these three tools offer similar functionalities such as recording 100% of your calls, transcribing them and providing easy ways to listen to recordings, search transcripts for keywords, share snippets, create playlist and track topics across time. However, there are certain key differences that set them apart. To evaluate and choose between them, we will be using the following parameters - 

  • Who is it for: Consider the primary users for whom the platform is built and customized for. Determine if it aligns with your specific requirements and target audience. Understanding who the tool caters to will help ensure a better fit for your organization.
  • User Experience: Assess the user experience of the platform. Is it intuitive and easy to navigate especially with a large volume of calls from SDRs, CSMs, and AE/AMs? Can users, even those unfamiliar with advanced technology, quickly grasp the basics? A user-friendly interface is crucial to drive high adoption rates and avoid wasting the budget on training or low user engagement.
  • Key Features: Evaluate the features offered by the software and assess how they address your specific needs. Consider whether the tool adequately solves your problem or provides the necessary functionalities. Avoid unnecessary bells and whistles meant for Fortune 50, which may complicate the user experience for small and medium-sized companies (below 10000 employees) without adding much value.
  • Pricing: Examine the pricing structure and find out whether it aligns with your budget. Assess whether the investment will provide your team with sufficient value and returns.
  • Future-proof: Consider the long-term prospects, such as the AI capabilities of the tool. Evaluate how the platform supports the growth and development of your sales team beyond the initial onboarding phase. Assess its ability to be utilized effectively by seasoned professionals and encourage collaboration with other teams.

Now, let us use these parameters to objectively differentiate between these three platforms. Let’s start with Gong. 

Gong

Gong initially introduced themselves as "Conversation Intelligence." software. However, later on, they underwent a repositioning to present themselves as a "Revenue Intelligence" solution. The million-dollar question is - Is Gong really a Revenue Intelligence solution?

In technical terms, not yet.

For Gong to be considered a complete Revenue Intelligence software, it would need to include the ability to track activities across different marketing functions, which is currently unavailable.

However, Gong goes beyond the traditional definition of Conversation Intelligence software. It not only tracks activities related to deal progression but also provides insights on deal risks and more.

By positioning themselves as a Revenue Intelligence platform and aiming to differentiate from competitors like Chorus, Gong is clearly moving in the direction of becoming a comprehensive solution in that space.

Who is it for

Gong is particularly well-suited for very large enterprises and the upper mid-market segment. However, if you are an SMB or mid-market business, you might find that the platform is too administration centric for your specific productivity needs. In such cases, you may perceive it as overkill compared to your use case.

Additionally, Gong lacks flexibility when it comes to services and offering customization with set up especially given per-user pricing. This means that smaller and medium-sized businesses may find it challenging to find a suitable plan that aligns with their budget and requirements.

Key Features

Forecast: This feature Gong offers comprehensive visibility into your pipeline, enabling you to gain valuable insights, resulting in enhanced revenue predictability. With proactive alerts, you can catch unseen risks and address them before they become problematic, thereby increasing forecast accuracy.

Insights: This feature consistently generates rich insights derived from customer interactions, empowering businesses to make better decisions about strategy, productivity, and execution. You can also unlock valuable insights for go-to-market success, team efficiency, and revenue health. 

Integrations: Gong seamlessly integrates with several enterprise CRM systems such as Salesforce and Hubspot, ensuring a smooth workflow and easy adoption for sales teams. However, Gong doesn’t integrate with SMB-friendly CRMs like Zoho, Pipedrive, Freshsales, and Monday.com.

User Experience

The product is relatively easy to navigate after a few training sessions. You're able to filter through a call database, account history (calls & emails), & training libraries. It may not be 100% obvious how to utilize high-level features during the initial login, you will pick it up after a while.

Pricing

Gong doesn’t reveal pricing details on their website. However, after some amount of digging, we found that Gong charges $1400/annum per seat, almost exceeding the cost of the CRM itself. In addition, users reported that Gong charged a hefty setup fee of $5000 to $10000 and a minimum of 10 users. Depending on the size of the team and the desired feature set, this high cost may be a consideration for a lot of businesses especially given that without proper setup and service, the platform is reduced to a record and listen use case. Also, smaller companies don't utilize all the bells & whistles to justify this cost. Most importantly many businesses don’t buy for SDRs and CSMs due to cost constraints that will actually limit their ability to get the full value from such a powerful platform.

Future-proof

Gong has proven to be highly beneficial for managers who frequently onboard new hires and require rapid sales performance. The platform significantly reduces the onboarding time, making the process more efficient and repeatable. However, it is observed that many enterprises with experienced sales professionals will underutilize coaching aspects of Gong that need setup and limit themselves to just listening to recordings and occasionally searching for topics because they believe their seasoned reps already possess effective selling skills. 

Chorus

The main emphasis of Chorus revolves around "conversational intelligence," which involves the analysis of conversations to enhance team performance and foster more robust customer relationships. However, upon a more thorough examination of the features they offer, it becomes apparent that Gong and Chorus operate within the same niche, targeting enterprise sales teams.

However, one thing is certain. After being acquired by ZoomInfo, Chorus has experienced a shift in focus. It has transitioned into more of an "add-on" or "perk" offering within the broader ZoomInfo suite, rather than maintaining its position as a standalone software solution. This shift in status may have altered its independent identity and level of attention within the market.

Who is it for

Chorus distinguishes itself as a sophisticated and refined platform primarily catering to large enterprise clients. Its customer base consists of notable brands listed on its website, showcasing its appeal to established corporations. The overall branding and marketing channels of Chorus exude a professional and polished look, appealing to executives seeking comprehensive insights into their sales operations.

Key Features

Sales Coaching: With Chorus's Coaching feature, you can identify winning behaviors within your sales process. You do not have to sift through call recordings to find examples of what's working and what’s not. Chorus takes a proactive approach by identifying coaching opportunities within each of your meetings and calls that you can use to tailor your coaching strategy.

Market Intelligence: You can measure the frequency with which your customers mention specific features and their impact on stage conversion and deal outcomes. This feature provides valuable insights that can inform your Product and Marketing teams about where to prioritize roadmap initiatives, develop relevant collateral, and allocate training resources.

Connected Intelligence: You can combine the power of Chorus and ZoomInfo to enhance your sales efforts.  For instance, you can access valuable conversation and relationship insights within ZoomInfo, while also benefiting from enriched company and contact profiles directly in Chorus. With Chorus and ZoomInfo working in sync, you can effortlessly loop in the appropriate cross-functional stakeholders, enabling collaborative efforts to win and retain customers.

User Experience

While Chorus does not have a very steep learning curve, it has been found to be comparatively more complicated to use than Gong. Some users have even found Chorus to become bloated and complex as enterprise software, which has impacted the overall user experience.

Pricing

Like Gong, when you visit Chorus's website, you won't immediately find pricing information. If you're interested in trying out their platform or requesting a demo, you'll need to go through a typical enterprise-style form where you'll be BANT qualified by a Sales Development Representative (SDR) before gaining access to the product. After undergoing this tiring process, we found that the pricing of Chorus is almost similar to Gong’s. At $1200/seat, Chorus is also not suitable for organizations even with a decent budget. 

Future-Proof

Currently, Chorus does not extend its offerings beyond sales and customer success functions. Moreover, even if you intended to utilize them for other purposes, their pricing models lack the necessary flexibility. If you find yourself in a situation where fostering cross-functional collaboration is a priority, it may be beneficial to explore the capabilities of other tools, which can empower you with its versatile features.

Rafiki

Rafiki is an advanced next-generation conversation intelligence tool that offers a wide range of capabilities tailored for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Rafiki offers what Gong and Chorus offer such as call recording, call transcription, insightful meeting analytics, and easy-to-share snippets, and still saves 75% of the cost. However, with advanced Generative AI features such as Smart Call Summaries, Smart Followup, and Smart Call Scoring, you can improve your team’s productivity as a Sales Leader in Enablement while your SDRs or CSMs will enjoy tracking thousands of conversations for insights on selling better.

Rafiki Meeting Dashboard

Rafiki supports integrations with all kinds of CRMs be it enterprise-grade ones like Salesforce and HubSpot or SMB-friendly ones like Monday.com, Zoho, LeadSquared, etc. Irrespective of how large the CRM is, Rafiki ensures a smooth flow of information between the two systems.

Rafiki also excels in providing customization for deal intelligence, market intelligence, and coaching intelligence. It offers easy access to vital insights and accurate forecasts by tracking customizable lists of ghosted accounts, inactive deals, and specific topic mentions like competitors and pricing. This enables your team to make informed decisions and drive better outcomes.

If you have a global team speaking local languages, Rafiki’s got you covered with transcription and translation in 50+ languages including Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and many more. The state-of-the-art transcription engine is accent agnostic, and works well with American, British, Australian, Canadian, and Indian accents. 

Who is it for

Rafiki is specifically designed to cater to the needs of SDR, CSM in addition to AE/AMs in Mid-Market, SMB, and startup Account Executives, including full-cycle sellers, who frequently engage with prospects and customers through Dialers and Zoom meetings and need to coach a lot of Junior or mid-level sales staff. Rafiki also accommodates various use cases such as staffing and marketing departments, making it a versatile solution that can be adapted to different business needs.

Features

Smart Follow-Up: This feature lets you follow up on your customer meetings and demos immediately after the call. Thanks to Rafiki’s powerful Generative AI engine, this provides a quick draft, based on the key takeaways, next steps, and key moments, based on your writing style and your customized prompt. You can now focus on the customer instead of taking notes during the call and not have to postpone responding to a later time.  A delayed response means spending even more time reviewing and finding enough time between back-to-back calls means rushing through a follow up. The gen-AI based follow up feature offers on-point follow-up with key takeaways, insights, next steps, and key moments. All of them are accompanied by timestamps to ensure that you can re-engage customers without delays. You can also reduce your effort by using follow-up templates that can be personalized to your precise needs. 

Smart Call Scoring: This feature has revolutionized sales coaching at scale. It automatically scores 100% of your reps' calls, based on the customizable AI Score card alerting you when your assistance as a coach is needed by the rep on the areas they need help with. This seamless guidance from their leaders empowers your reps to meet their pipeline goals effortlessly. By leveraging this feature, you can customize your training plan at scale. Through assessing soft skills, topics discussed, and adherence to sales processes, Rafiki's Smart Scoring offers data-driven recommendations, enabling each rep to unlock their full potential and contribute to increased pipeline success.

Rafiki Smart Call Scoring

Smart Call Summary: This feature effortlessly captures key moments, recaps of conversations, follow-up actions, and important takeaways instantly. Gone are the days when you had to spend hours meticulously documenting every detail of your customer interactions. With Rafiki's Smart Call Summary, you can achieve 10 times more insights in a matter of a few minutes and focus on the customer during the call without wasting time taking copious notes.

Check out the complete list of features here.

User Experience

Rafiki is designed with simplicity and sales productivity in mind. Too often, the software takes months to implement & adapt within any organization, let alone across every team. Well, not Rafiki. Most of our users find it intuitive and user-friendly after a short learning period. Rafiki also ensures easy integration                                                                                                                                                                                            with all major conference call/dialer systems and popular CRM tools. The integration process is quick and hassle-free, taking less than a minute to set up. This enables users to streamline their workflow and access important data from a single interface. Once you become a power user, the product adapts to your need to stroll through hundreds of calls and extract insights with ease.

Pricing

Compared to the other two tools, Rafiki costs a fraction. This affordability makes it an attractive option for businesses looking to bring the benefits of learning from customer calls to increase sales productivity across SDRs, CSMs and optimize their expenses without compromising on quality. Rafiki particularly differentiates on White Glove service and $0 setup fees that is key in bringing the full value of your investment to the entire team. They also offer a free trial that doesn't require providing credit card details. This allows users to explore the platform and experience its capabilities without any financial commitment. 

These days customers expect and believe software costs should be open & transparent. Check out their Pricing page for a clear cost breakdown of Rafiki. You get full access for as little as $40/per seat/per month with higher discounts for larger signups bringing 75% savings. There are no onboarding costs like Gong & you don't have to buy another platform to access us like Chorus.

Let us quickly compare the average cost you will incur when you use all three platforms, based on data collected from review sites. Let us assume you have a sales team of 50 members.  

Gong

Platform subscription fee/ Setup fee - $5000

Per user cost - $1520

Total cost for 50 seats - $5000 + $1520*50 = $81,000

So for a team of 50 users, you are going to spend $81,000 every year with Gong. 

Chorus

Base price - $8000 for three seats

Per user cost for each additional seat - $1200

Additional seats required - 47

Total cost for 50 seats - $8000 + $1200 * 47 = $64,400

So for a team of 50 users, you are going to spend $64,400 every year with Chorus. 

Chorus

Platform subscription fee/Set up fee/Base Price - $0

Per user cost - $480 for the Premium plan

Total cost for 50 seats - $480 * 50 = $24,000

So for a team of 50 users, you are going to spend only $24,000 every year with Rafiki. That’s a saving of $57,000 wrt Gong and $40,400 wrt Chorus. 

Rafiki vs Gong vs Chorus: Feature Comparison

FeatureRafikiGongChorus
Record MeetingYesYesYes
Deal ForecastYesYesYes
Customizable WarningsYes
Revenue PlaylistYesYesYes
World-class TranscriptionYesYesYes
Note-takingYesYesYes
Smart Follow UpYesNoNo
Smart SummaryYesNoNo
Smart ScoringYesNoNo
Meeting ComparisonYesNoNo
Chrome Extension RecorderYesNoNo

Final Verdict

Both Gong and Chorus are highly capable tools with a large customer base. Choosing between them ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.

If you are a well-established large-scale enterprise looking to set up and administer in the context of 10s of thousands of users and have a big budget, pick either Gong or Chorus based on your feature requirements. 

However, if you prioritize ease of use with advanced AI, scalability across various use cases in SDR, CSMs, and budget-friendly pricing, Rafiki could be a great choice. We leave it to you to decide. 

Best Gong Alternatives in 2022

Gong.io is undoubtedly one of the early players in conversational intelligence and revenue intelligence in recent times. Its transcription engine and analytics, along with its first mover advantage, have been its biggest strength, attracting a wide customer base and has become the de facto conversation intelligence legacy vendor. Enterprise customers were willing to hundreds of dollars in monthly fees per user and even thousands of dollars just for setting up basic integrations for call recording and analytics.

However, ever since the pandemic struck, customer needs and demands have drastically changed. Gone are the fly-high valuations, and now with the recessionary fears on the horizon and the capital boom subsiding, organizations are squeezed to produce more value, and with it, the sales team management’s mandate is to do even more with far less. 

Changing customer demands

Customers have also seen the remote working tools that have brought the cost of recording down and the AI boom that seems to offer even better innovations.  Now they demand a modern platform that can not only help them quickly scale the team through innovative and intelligent insightful solutions but also be way more cost-effective and value-driven

The need for cost efficiency is particularly true for SMBs because the total cost of the outbound stack for their SDRs/BDRs/AEs is getting beyond their reach. Even companies that raised capital have to stretch it for longer until the market bounces back.

Given these market conditions, most customers are in the market again looking to find better alternatives to expensive tools such as Gong, as the need to switch from the legacy vendor to save on the outbound stack and upgrade to the modern AI-based stack has never been higher. To help all those looking for a Gong alternative, we have come up with this guide which will take you through some of the top competitors of Gong, along with their key features, positives, negatives, and pricing. 

Why do you need alternatives for Gong?

Gong is a first-generation legacy conversational intelligence tool. Its charm as a first mover of new technology was quite enticing early on, despite the premium pricing. We have seen how first movers are justified in charging a premium and then leveraging modern technology to bring costs down in other markets. 

A classic example would be your phone. A decade ago, a premium smartphone costed thousands of dollars. But modern phones, which are priced way lower, offer similar or more advanced features and pack way more punch than legacy phones.

Customers chose products such as Gong early on to leverage the recording and AI-based transcription solutions with the hope that as the cost of AI technology dropped, those would be passed on. However, even as AI transcription has reached human quality with the ever-dropping costs, those cost savings and benefits have NOT been percolating to the customers. Instead, the legacy vendors have continued to keep prior high prices or, in some cases, even increase prices citing inflation or lack of choices and moving upmarket to Fortune 500 customers. The result is that the SMBs are left out of technology upgradation as it is not happening in the Sales outbound stack for the SMBs.

In the current economy, where everyone is asked to deliver more for less, why can’t you ask the same from your conversation or revenue intelligence vendor? 

And that’s where the need for finding alternatives to legacy, expensive systems like Gong arises. 

Top Gong Alternatives

Here is a brief summary of the top 6 Gong Alternatives you can consider in 2022 - 

  1. Rafiki
  2. Avoma
  3. Wingman
  4. Execvision
  5. Chorus
  6. Fireflies
FeatureRafikiAvomaWingmanExecvisionChorusFireflies
Record MeetingYesYesYesYesYesYes
Deal ForecastYesNoYesNoYesNo
Customizable WarningsYesNoYesYesNoNo
Revenue PlaylistYesYesYesNoYesNo
World-class TranscriptionYesYesYesYesYesYes
Note-takingYesYesYesYesYesYes
Post-meeting follow upYesNoNoNoNoNo
Meeting ComparisonYesNoNoNoNoNo
Chrome ExtensionYesNoYesYesNoYes
Free TrialYesYesNoNoAvailable after booking a demoYes
Starting Plan$0$0$60/month/repAvailable after booking a demoAvailable after booking a demo$0

#1 Rafiki

Rafiki is the #1 Gong alternative and for a reason. It offers 95% of the capabilities of Gong, such as 100% recording of all calls, highest quality transcription, meeting analytics, sharing snippets or recordings with slack or email, creating playlists, coaching scorecards, etc., that the SMBs actually use. Furthermore, it actually expands the capabilities of Gong that matter to the reps in SMBs, with a much better AI-driven follow-up workflow for the sales rep and a matching, extensive feature set focused on deal intelligence, market intelligence, and coaching intelligence. 

Only Rafiki helps your reps to move your prospects from demos to deal with contextual follow-ups that help the rep re-engage with the prospect after the demo. Thanks to Rafiki, all your follow-up messages engage your prospects effectively, making your pitch stick to their memory better. Rafiki is not only a conversational intelligence tool but also a great coaching/onboarding tool. It helps managers ramp up their rep training through a variety of coaching features. Just like Gong, Rafiki also offers easy ways of finding deal insights and forecasts by tracking a customizable list of Ghosted accounts, inactive deals, and customizable topic mentions such as competitors, pricing, etc.

Rafiki Deal Dashboard

Key Features

  • Post-demo follow-up: This is a unique feature available only in Rafiki. This automatically re-engages your prospects post a sales call or a demo. It effectively handles this with the help of video-embedded contextual follow-ups.
  • Meeting Comparison: Another Rafiki-only feature. This lets you compare the topic tracks of any 2 meetings on your list based on multiple parameters like time, teams, and reps. This feature is unavailable on any other platform right now. 
  • Multi-language support: Rafiki can transcribe numerous languages, including English, French, and Spanish, at near human quality. It can also flawlessly handle different forms of English accents, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and India.
  • Advanced note-taking capabilities: Rafiki comes with a built-in rich text editor to edit the notes within the same platform. The generated meeting notes will be sorted by topics and will automatically sync all your edits in real time with the CRM
  • Share meeting data: You can share your call recordings and transcripts directly with your customers/prospects 

Check out the complete list of features here.

Pros of Rafiki

  • Full features, no compromises enterprise-grade, robust product
  • Cost 25% of the comparable other enterprise-grade legacy offerings
  • Availability of a free plan. You don’t need to provide your credit card details for the same. <sign up here>
  • Easy Integration to all of your Conference call /dialers and most popular CRM tools so easy it takes less than a minute
  • There is a plan for everyone, right from a freelancer to large enterprises and across many use cases and departments as well 
  • White glove support to the paid users without an additional setup cost 
  • The only tool to help you follow up after a call with suggested snippets, and direct customer chat
  • Comes with a Chrome extension to let you record meetings without the need for a bot
  • Approved Zoom vendor and Approved by all top CRM vendors 

Cons of Rafiki

  • Does not offer complex multi-departmental configurations needed by very large Fortune 500’s complex organizational structure
  • Massive feature support could seem daunting initially but once the user starts using they find it very intuitive after some time
  • Support most common languages and accents but not less frequently used languages

Pricing

Rafiki Pricing

Check out the full pricing details here.

#2 Avoma

Even though Avoma is widely known as a meeting assistant tool, it’s also a highly capable conversational intelligence software. The platform can not not only record and transcribe your sales calls but also summarize the call notes efficiently. Its plug-n-play integrations with CRMs like HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Zoho make it a great choice if you want a great noting taking tool for all meetings, including engineering - not just for sales 

Key Features

  • Meeting management - Automatically prepares agendas and syncs them to your calendar events.
  • Meeting assistance - Automatically records transcribes and generates notes of all your meetings.
  • Meeting collaboration - Enables you to search across different transcripts and share key moments with other stakeholders.

Pros of Avoma

  • Can be integrated with most of the workflow tools, CRMs, and dialers currently available. 
  • The tool is not very difficult to use, even for beginners, even though many complain about the poor UI.
  • One of the few tools to offer a curated playlist to help train your reps.
  • A pricing plan for everyone

Cons of Avoma

  • Touches conversation intelligence on the surface only. Doesn’t focus a lot on actionable intelligence
  • The lack of Chrome extension is a major negative. 
  • There is no call filtering feature. You cannot segregate calls based on most metrics and parameters.

Pricing

Competitor Pricing

#3 Wingman

The next tool on our list is Wingman, which is a popular conversational intelligence tool that focuses on continuously churning out valuable data points based on your conversations with customers. It uses both audio and video recordings to do this. It even determines how far ahead or behind you are in your deal pipeline. A sales manager can track the performance of their team effortlessly through the personalized dashboard. The platform is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses as well but has changed pricing to match Gong of late. 

Key Features

  • Battle cards - A one-of-a-kind feature where real-time prompts show up in the conversations to help the sales rep.
  • Tags - All your call recordings are tagged by Wingman, making your task of finding objections or competitor mentions a breeze.
  • Call scorecard - Let you score your team’s calls with fully customizable templates. This way, you can build a seamless feedback loop between you and your reps.

Pros of Wingman

  • Comes with Real-time alerts to nudge sales reps to stop talking for too long
  • The platform takes a great effort in offering all the important deal information to you. For instance, ​​it even extracts stakeholder job titles from your sales calls so that everyone knows who the decision makers are on a deal.
  • Easy to set up and use. A flat learning curve. 

Cons of Wingman

  • Price went up to almost that of Gong
  • It doesn’t extend its conversation intelligence beyond the sales use cases.
  • The transcription is not 100% accurate most of the time. 
  • Many important features are available only in the higher plans. 

Pricing

Competitor Pricing

#4 Execvision

Execvision is a conversational intelligence tool that helps sales leaders make smarter decisions through powerful insights from every conversation. The platform is also quite effective in notifying you if any of your customer conversations need review. Based on this data, it helps you offer personalized coaching to your reps. It is the best tool to have if your goal is to optimize sales workflows, boost revenue and elevate the overall customer experience by closing the insights to the performance gap.

Key Features

  • Smart Alerts: This feature offers you real-time alerts on conversation activities based on pre-created keywords and phrases or accounts. The best part is you can customize the notifications based on your personal needs and interests. 
  • Conversation Cards: This feature matches all your conversations with CRM data to generate intuitive conversation cards that capture call timelines. Any designated user can leave comments on these cards to add more depth to the call.
  • Customizable Scorecards: With Execvision, you can build fully personalized scorecards that revolve around your coaching and milestones. It even assesses different types of conversations, like inbound calls or discovery calls to tailor the scorecard even further. 

Pros of Execvision 

  • The tool works with most of your existing workflow tools and CRMs. The integration is also quite straightforward. 
  • The tool comes with a Chrome extension to record meetings on the go. 
  • One of the few tools that come with a dedicated mobile app. 

Cons of Execvision

  • The pricing is not transparent. You need to book a demo to know the pricing details. 
  • Doesn’t have features like Deal Forecasting or Revenue Playlist that are present in most of the other tools in the list.
  • The tool is quite difficult to use, particularly for new users. 

Pricing

Contact the Execvision team for pricing details.

#5 Chorus

Chorus is a conversational intelligence platform from the house of Zoominfo. The tool is ideal for you if your goal is to mitigate all forms of deal risks. The tool gives you valuable insights into your deal pipeline health and helps you understand the shifting dynamics of your customer expectations. It even helps streamline your workforce communication by facilitating quicker and more accurate follow-ups by effectively tracking deadlines and your goals. 

Key Features

  • Recording: Lets you record calls, screen activities, and video calls. You can even share calls or bookmark recordings for you to revisit later. 
  • Outcome-based analytics - Chorus analyzes different aspects and outcomes of customer interactions and offers deal intelligence and market insights based on them. The platform also offers a way to drill into specific parts of this data.
  • Coaching - The tool offers all forms of coaching, including Self-coaching, peer coaching, and manager-rep coaching. It makes the lives of managers simpler through coaching features like scorecards and playlists.

Pros of Chorus

  • It not only delivers timely updates but also keeps adding capabilities and addressing bugs.
  • The tool is feature-rich and has plenty of collaboration features making it an ideal software for a large team. 
  • Comes with unlimited storage. You can store as many recordings as you want in the cloud. 

Cons of Chorus

  • The platform is not beginner-friendly, and it takes a while for a new user to understand it fully.
  • Not efficient while transcribing multilingual conversations, particularly if the speakers have strong accents.
  • The pricing is not transparent. You need to contact customer care for pricing and to access a free trial.

Pricing

Contact the Chorus team for pricing details.

#6 Fireflies

Fireflies is a note-taking and conversational intelligence tool that is powered by machine learning. It is quite effective in capturing all your sales teams’ meetings and deriving valuable insights from them. Apart from recording, transcribing, and note-taking, the tool also offers smart suggestions for your sales team based on the direction of the sales calls. It even guides your reps with the next steps and actionable items that need to be addressed. The two-way sync between all the popular CRMs is an added advantage.

Key Features

  • Embed: You can embed the AI transcript generated by Fireflies into any of your workflow tools, including Medium, Notion, Salesforce, etc.
  • Sound Bites: A smart feature that transforms all the key sections of your sale calls shareable snippets. These snippets can be easily accessed at any time in your dashboard.
  • Threads: You can leave your comments at any part of the call along with a time-stamped note. This will be quite useful for your team to jump back to any section of the call. 

Pros of Fireflies

  • The tool works with most of your existing workflow tools and CRMs. The integration is also quite straightforward. 
  • All the paid plans come with unlimited transcription credits. 
  • There is a free plan with limited features. 

Cons of Fireflies

  • Doesn’t have the extra features(offered by most of the tools in this list) that are centered around deal intelligence.
  • Has only limited collaboration features.
  • The transcript editing time is more.

Pricing

Competitor Pricing

Conclusion

Conversational intelligence tools are critical for organizing, managing, and tracking sales calls. Gong had always been a leader in this space until recent times when better and more value-driven solutions started surfacing. These platforms not only offered more advanced features but were also highly cost-effective. Rafiki, for instance, comes with a robust set of features and fits the budget of every type of business out there. 

Interested in Rafiki? Sign up for a free trial now.

Top 6 Sales Training Software

Sales training has evolved considerably over the years. 

In the 50s, you had sales coaching in the form of audio vinyl records and cassettes. 

The 70s was the period of video-based sales coaching. 

Then came the era of CRMs, which led to the downfall(almost) of sales training. Companies did not give due attention to sales training as they believed that CRM was the silver bullet to solve every sales problem, including relieving the pressure of all the salespeople in the company.

However, there was one thing that CRMs could never replace - human selling skills. When businesses found this, they realized the importance of sales training once again and started investing in sales training software. 

What is sales training software?

Sales training software enables sales managers and reps to analyze sales calls. It is mainly used to refine the reps’ techniques and improve conversion rates. The tool also helps establish a practice of continuous training by offering a rich repository of recorded sales calls. The goal of sales training software is to:

  • Reduce ramp time by finding key areas for improvement
  • Aligning the team’s efforts with your business goals.

But a simple sales training software was insufficient to train reps at scale. Companies yearned for something more intelligent and advanced that was based on real customer calls. They no longer wanted a tool that could only record conversations and offer access to call data. 

Long story short, the sales enablement leaders needed training software that could offer:

"Necessary coaching intelligence based on real customer calls to offer personalized training to the reps."

In other words, they needed conversation-intelligence-based sales training software!

How is regular sales training software different from a conversation-intelligence-based one?

A conversation-intelligence-based training tool uses the actual performance of a salesperson in the context of real sales. It distinguishes itself from typical training software by automatically analyzing and extracting patterns across your customer calls and highlighting the techniques of winning sales reps for other reps to learn. These tools are turning the whole sales training ecosystem upside down and creating a significant impact on the reps’ performance, something historical user-guided training could never achieve.

Some of the key features of conversation-intelligence-based sales training software include customized scorecards, playlists of calls and snippets, performance dashboards, and shareable comments and moments. 

Top Sales Training Software

Here are some of the top platforms in the world of sales training with a focus on conversation intelligence.

#1 Rafiki

Rafiki

Rafiki is the #1 sales training software on our list that enables managers to ramp up their rep training process by offering direct visibility into the sales behaviors of the team. It helps in designing relevant and personalized training programs by allowing you to see successful and the not so successful conversation patterns.

It not only delivers valuable insights at scale but also empowers reps with exactly what they need and when they need to increase sales effectiveness and close more deals. Thanks to its powerful AI capabilities, Rafiki can transcribe interactions and identify coachable moments and opportunities for upselling, cross-selling, etc.

Key Features of Rafiki that Help in Sales Training

  • Meeting comparison - This feature offers a deep comparison of key trackers (ex: Competitor Mention) between two meetings. It shows the topic patterns followed by successful reps as against the struggling ones so that you can build a deal-winning topic sequence. Shows what topics were discussed when during a sales call that makes a tangible difference in closing a deal
  • Snippets & Playlists- This lets you create call snippets in just a few clicks, that too from transcript blocks or video timelines. You can even share curated playlists of your meetings with your team to improve per-rep win rates.
  • Customizable scorecards - It lets you track a variety of call metrics, evaluate the reps based on them, and generate a detailed scorecard for improved decision-making. The scorecards can be customized based on your precise needs and processes. 
  • Conversation Metrics Graphs - This feature lets you track the rep's talk patterns and the impact of the topic/tracker on deals won/lost. You can even perform comparisons based on different parameters like reps, duration, time frame, etc. 
  • Comments With @Mentions - It lets you appreciate, acknowledge, and highlight elements of calls that went well or didn’t go well. You can even send private comments to individual reps. 
  • Contextual follow-ups - This enables you to send follow-up emails to prospects after a demo or a sales call and highlight key moments in the meetings. You can also share collaterals or engage in a live chat to answer any further questions. Rafiki also shares a secured meeting link along with the email and tracks it to alert you when the link is opened.

How much does Rafiki cost?

Rafiki pricing

Check out the complete list of features here.

#2 Gong

Gong

The next software on our list is Gong, which has carved a name for itself as the preferred choice for many large organizations. The platform offers a rich feature set that helps in comparing reps’ performance against each other and industry benchmarks. It is quite adept at highlighting the areas of improvement for each individual member of your team. Like every other tool in this list, Gong is fueled by a robust AI engine that analyzes sales calls and gives you and your team inputs, such as which topics result in better responses, how to handle objections, etc. 

Key Features of Gong that Help in Sales Training

  • Coaching Activity - This feature generates a guided workflow that lets you replicate what works and what doesn’t by transforming data into coachable moments. It generates all the key states you need to back up your coaching strategy.
  • Role-specific learning - Reduces ramp time and the effort it takes for new reps to close deals. The feature lets you create an ecosystem of peer-to-peer learning where reps can learn from each other. Managers, on the other hand, will be able to ensure that all the crucial skills gaps in their team are closed. 
  • Quality of conversations - This feature maximizes the efficiency of your training plan by gauging the quality of conversations and topics discussed. This way, you can coach your team on different ways to help customers achieve their goals.

How much does Gong cost?

Contact the Gong team for pricing details.

#3 Avoma

Avoma

With Avoma, sales managers no longer have to guess how their team is performing or where training may be needed. The data gleaned from Avoma will laser-focus your coaching plan. It will also ensure that every rep in your team is utilizing the most effective sales approach. Avoma effectively transcribes and analyzes every rep’s customer interactions and highlights successes and opportunities for improvement. It also offers powerful insights on exactly where to coach for the highest impact.

Key Features of Avoma that Help in Sales Training

  • Topic Trends & Talk Pattern Insights - Enables sales managers to learn the talk patterns of top reps and coach other reps accordingly. It helps managers analyze trends based on competitor mentions, objections, and feature requests to carefully design a data-driven and personalized training plan. 
  • Curated Playlists - You can save some of the best moments of your top reps and store them into curated playlists. The moments could be related to anything from objection handling to negotiation. The other reps can listen to these playlists anytime, anywhere.
  • Recording Snippets - Avoma lets you create video snippets from calls instantly and share them with your reps so that they will know how they performed immediately after the call.

How much does Avoma cost?

Avoma pricing

#4 Clari Wingman

Wingman

Wingman is also backed by AI technology that not only serves as a sales enablement tool but also as excellent sales training software. With Wingman, managers can instantly identify what top sales performers are doing differently. They can then use it to create an effective sales training strategy. It is the ideal choice if you wish to reduce the ramp-up time of training and replicate successful sales behaviors across the sales team. The platform enhances the productivity of your reps, builds better customer relationships, and improves overall sales communication. 

Key Features of Wingman that Help in Sales Training

  • Battle Cards - This feature ensures that your training is highly personalized for every rep. You no longer have to force your reps to spend hours shadowing. 
  • Game Tapes - These comprise videos of winning sales tactics adopted by the high performers in your organization. This feature accelerates onboarding and promotes peer learning among your reps.
  • Call Summary - Gives you summaries of every sales conversation, including the questions asked, the next steps, and even pain points. This gives you 360-degree visibility into your reps’ performance and identify if they are asking the right questions and engaging the prospects the right way. 

How much does Wingman cost?

Wingman pricing

#5 Execvision

Execvision

ExecVision helps improve the sales performance of the reps and boost revenue through data-driven training.​​ It claims to be the bridge between insights and performance, as it offers an array of valuable insights from customer conversations and helps improve reps’ decision-making skills. The platform records, transcribes and analyzes calls at scale. It even identifies untapped opportunities and key areas where coaching is needed for the reps. You can plan tailored 1-on-1 sales training and accurately track individual rep performance metrics.

Key features of Execvision that help in sales training

  • Customizable Scorecards -  You can create fully personalized scorecards that align with your training plans and milestones. The platform assesses different conversations and scores them using different scoring formats for different functions. 
  • Self Review - With this feature, your reps can receive feedback and notes about a specific conversation. The reps can also highlight the section where they want help from the managers. 
  • Coaching effectiveness - With this feature, Execvision delivers full-circle insights about your reps’ training activity. Managers will know what is happening and how it is impacting the reps’ performances with the help of dynamic performance dashboards. Managers can drill down into coaching effectiveness and close the insights-to-performance gap.

How much does Execvision cost?

Contact the Execvision team for pricing details.

#6 Chorus

Chorus
Chorus

Chorus is another coaching platform that blends sales coaching, sales training, and conversation intelligence to help businesses forge a culture of sales excellence. With this platform, you can instantly boost revenue by increasing the reps’ knowledge of the most effective sales behaviors.

Chorus equips managers with data-driven sales coaching and automated workflows. This empowers the managers to tailor the learning paths for different reps based on their profile, performance, and needs. 

Key Training Features of Chorus

  • Scorecards - Through this feature, you can offer actionable advice to your reps after rating their performance through the inbuilt scorecards. The tool automatically recommends high-scoring calls so that reps can learn from them.
  • Playlists - It lets you create a library of your best calls for new team members to learn from others. Apart from improving the onboarding experience, Chorus automatically adds new calls to the playlists if they meet the criteria you set. 
  • Coaching Initiatives - You can set up and tailor Chorus’ coaching initiatives to cater to your specific sales process and coaching needs. The unlimited number of questions or assessment areas that you can target ensures that you can build a training program for every rep in your organization.

How much does Chorus cost?

Contact the Chorus team for pricing details.

Bottomline

Conversation intelligence has completely transformed the sales training process by offering deep call insights to improve onboarding, productivity, and performance of sales reps. Regular sales training software will not get you the buy-in you’re looking for. as it doesn’t offer complete visibility into what’s happening with your team. It eliminates the chances of designing a personalized training strategy for all your reps. 

On the other hand, using conversation intelligence software like Rafiki gives you access to actionable insights that allow for self-diagnosis, self-coaching, faster onboarding, and skill development. 

A sales training software like Gong or Chorus might be justified for Fortune 500 companies. But most of the training features offered by these tools are overkill for small and medium-sized businesses. Rafiki not only offers all the features offered by these tools (plus some unique features of its own) but offers them at a fraction of their cost. 

Sales Quotas - Definition, Types, and Significance

Behind every successful organization, there is an efficient sales team. 

The efficiency of a sales team is driven by how motivated the individual reps are. 

Now the easiest way to motivate a sales team is by offering them earned commissions. When these commissions are tied to a quota, your sales team’s motivation is closely aligned to the business.

In this post, let us understand what a sales quota is, its definition, key objectives, types, and significance.

What is a sales quota? 

A sales quota is a quantitative goal set by sales managers to measure salespeople’s performance, which, in turn, will help determine their compensation. Sales quota can also be set for an entire team, a territory, and a department. It is also set for a particular period, such as a month, quarter, or year. A smart sales manager ensures that the sales quota is set in such a way that it does not seem too high (making it unachievable) or too low (making the reps complacent). 

What are the objectives of a sales quota? 

Here are the key objectives of a sales quota - 

  • To stimulate sales effort and improve revenue for the organization.
  • To determine a sales rep’s compensation and bonus and ensure that the entire process is done transparently.
  • To ensure that the salesperson or the sales team adheres to the agreed-upon business metrics.
  • To gather vital information as to where the organization is currently in relation to its goals.
  • To identify the strengths and weaknesses of sales teams.
  • To ensure that the team’s performance is in sync with the market.

What are the different types of quotas? 

#1 Revenue Quota

This is probably the most basic type of sales quota and also the most common one followed by businesses. In this, the sales reps or the teams must sell to generate a certain amount of revenue within a specific time frame. It is usually set for a month or a quarter. 

Example: Decan is a sales representative who has been set a monthly target of $20,000. His average sale is usually $4,000. So he needs to sell to at least 5 customers to meet his monthly sales quota.

When to use this quota: 

  • Revenue growth is your primary goal.
  • You have a clear buyer persona.
  • Your reps already have an optimal activity performance.

#2 Activity Quota

This type of sales quota revolves around sales-oriented tasks that the reps must do in a particular time frame. For instance, it can be making a set number of phone calls in a month or sending a fixed number of emails in a quarter. This type of quota has objectives ranging from client acquisition to booking meetings. It is usually set for junior SDRs and reps in their early stages of sales careers, where activities are highly correlated to their success.

Example: Adele is a sales representative who has been set a monthly target of 300 calls. So she has to make at least 10 calls per day, regardless of how many sales she makes.

When to use this quota:

  • When you want to drive reps’ contribution to your organization’s growth, regardless of the outcome.
  • When you want to coach inexperienced or struggling reps without punishing them monetarily. 

#3 Volume Quota

This type of sales quota focuses on the number of products sold instead of the revenue or dollar value of the sale. This quota can be further split into product categories, business units, location, etc. 

Example: Mark is a sales representative who has been set a quarterly selling volume of 25 cars. The showroom has cars ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. Mark has the liberty to sell any of these cars without worrying about the revenue or margin. 

When to use this quota:

  • When you are vying for market penetration.
  • When you want to maximize value from sales.

#4 Profit Quota

This is almost similar to the revenue quota. The main difference is - the ‘revenue’ is replaced with profit as a criterion. This quota requires the sales reps to generate a certain amount of profit for the company by selling products (or services) at a certain price or selling only those with a high margin. This type of quota is ideal if your business has multiple price points for the same product or has multiple products with varying price points.

Example: David is a sales representative who has been asked to sell goods worth $5000. Apart from the revenue quota, he has also been set a profit quota that encourages him to sell only high-margin goods.

When to use this quota:

  • When you have a high customer-acquisition cost.
  • When you want to see how each sale is realistically contributing towards your business growth 

#5 Forecast Quota

This type of quota is set based on predictions made from past results. While setting this type of quota, the manager must not only know past revenue details but must be able to decipher the different influences on those revenues, such as where they came from (channel) and how they affected the sales, etc. This type of quota is usually assigned to a team, business unit, or territory. 

Example: Organization ABC clocked a revenue of $50,000 in Q4 last year. They want to boost their revenues by 10% this quarter. So the team has been asked to generate $55,000 this quarter.

When to use this quota:

  • When you have a lot of sales data to deploy effectively
  • When you are stepping into a new domain
  • When you are launching a new product.

#6 Combination Quota

As the name suggests, a combination sales quota is a combination of multiple sales quotas. This type of sales quota offers reps several small, achievable milestones along with a sales roadmap for long-term success. This not only makes it easy to attain the sales quota but also aids in developing the reps’ diverse talents.

Example: Andrew, a sales representative, has been asked to make at least 200 calls in the upcoming month and sell at least 10 products.

When to use this quota:

  • When you want to develop the diverse talents of your reps.
  • When you are not sure about which sales quota will work best for your team. 

Tracking of sales quotas

Most organizations make the mistake of setting up a sales quota and completely forgetting about it later. Sales managers must realize that it is also their responsibility to track the sales quota consistently and find ways to improve the processes and remove any bottlenecks if present. 

Managers must also constantly communicate how close or far the reps are from attaining their individual sales quota. Your reps must have utmost clarity and accurate information all the time to know their progress in quota attainment. 

If they are way ahead of the expected quota, reward them with a bonus. This will encourage them to put in even more effort. If they are falling behind, train them or give them the necessary assistance to catch up with the rest. 

One of the most common metrics that help in tracking sales quota is Quota Attainment. Its formula is given by - 

Quota Attainment = Actual Sales/ Target Sales

This metric gives you insights into the best-performing reps and how attainable the quotas are. For instance, if you have multiple reps or teams with low quota attainment, then it means you have set unrealistic goals. Similarly, if the value is quite high for many sales reps, it means your goals are very easy to attain.

How does Rafiki help with quota attainment? 

The biggest enemy of quota attainment is unseen risk signals. Popular risk signals include a lack of decision-makers in the deal, low email or call velocity, no feedback, lack of discussion about the pricing, and competitor mentions. These are all indicators of likely lost deals. When you get a clear view of these signals, you can take appropriate actions, which, in turn, can help produce a well-oiled sales machine.  

A tool like Gong or Chorus can identify these deal risks and can use them in deal forecasting and quota quantification. However, these tools cost hundreds of dollars per month and way beyond the budget of most small and medium-sized businesses. 
Enter Rafiki, the AI-powered sales intelligence tool that has been carefully designed (and of course priced) for all SMBs out there. Not only Rafiki costs ways less, but also offers all the key features provided by the above pricey tools plus some customized features required to boost your quota attainment.

Click here to sign up for a free trial.

Best AI Meeting Assistants - 2022

Artificial intelligence has taken the world by storm. You can find it everywhere, right from the smartphone you use to the car you drive. But if there is one area where its application has been profound, it has to be business meetings. AI meeting assistants have made the lives of all those attending a meeting simpler and way better.

AI meeting assistant is a software technology powered by artificial intelligence that’s crafted to help you manage meetings more efficiently. It achieves this by automating most of the tasks involved in a meeting. 

In this post, let’s look at the top 5 AI meeting assistant that you should consider in 2022.

Top 5 AI Meeting Assistants

Here is a brief summary of the top 5 AI smart meeting assistants

  1. Rafiki
  2. Avoma
  3. Otter
  4. Fireflies
  5. Sonix.ai
AI Meeting AssistantRecord MeetingTranscriptionNote takingPost meeting follow-upMeeting Comparison Chrome ExtensionFree TrialStarting plan
RafikiYesYesYesYesYesYesYes$0
AvomaYesYesYesNoNoNoYes$0
OtterYesYesYesNoNoYesYes$0
FirefliesYesYesYesNoNoYesYes$0
SonixNoYesNoNoNoNoYes$10 /hour
AI Meeting Assistant Comparison Table

#1 Rafiki

Rafiki is much more than an AI assistant for meetings. It is a conversational intelligence tool that records your meetings, transcribes them, and captures key topics and moments of them. It can even generate notes by topic to get you started. Rafiki is an asset to sales managers because it helps their teams manage their calls and deals on their own. For example, Rafiki lets the SDRs review their call metrics on their own, compare them with their teammates, and identify where they are going wrong and how to correct them.

Key Features

  • Call notes: Thanks to this feature, your team can focus on talking to the client instead of jotting down every word. This helps them behave more naturally during a call.
  • Snippets: Rafiki can help create snippets from your call. This means you no longer have to listen to the entire call. In other words, you can be well-informed about the call without wasting a lot of time.
  • Post-demo follow-up: A one-of-a-kind feature where the tool automatically re-engages your prospects effectively after a demo or a meeting. It does this through video-embedded contextual follow-ups
  • Meeting Comparison: Lets you compare topic tracks of 2 meetings based on different parameters like time, team, reps, etc., that can help build a great topic sequence.

Check out the complete list of features here.

Pros of Rafiki

  • There is a free trial plan which doesn’t require any credit card.
  • There is a Chrome extension. 
  • Clear and transparent pricing.
  • Has a slick user interface.
  • One of the few tools to offer deal intelligence, market intelligence, and coaching intelligence.
  • The only tool in this list to offer white glove support.

Cons of Rafiki

There are no major cons as such. Though some users might get overwhelmed by the sheer number of advanced features that Rafiki offers. However, even this has been addressed by offering a huge repository of how-to guides and tutorial videos.

Pricing

Rafiki Pricing
Check out the full pricing details here.

#2 Avoma

Avoma is a meeting assistant AI tool that helps in capturing important customer information before, during, and after meetings. It is also widely considered to be a collaboration platform for Sales, Implementation, and Customer Success teams. Avoma can be used to record meetings, transcribe, and summarize notes. It can also come up with actionable insights that can be synced directly to CRM.

Key Features

  • Automatic listening, recording, and transcription: this allows you to capture all the key points so that you can identify problems and solve them.
  • Reporting capabilities: enable you to see how your team is performing against specific objectives and compare it over time
  • Analytics: give you a deeper understanding of customer behavior so that you can make better decisions about future marketing initiatives.

Pros of Avoma

  • You can review calls and meetings by searching within transcripts.
  • The tool comes with a robust reporting and analytics engine.
  • The learning curve is not steep.

Cons of Avoma

  • Avoma doesn’t have important real-time evaluation features such as call moments and in-depth listening.
  • Avoma doesn’t have a call filtering feature which makes it challenging to segregate calls based on critical metrics and parameters.
  • There is no Chrome extension.

Pricing

AI Meeting Assistant Pricing

#3 Otter

Otter AI is another AI virtual assistant meetings tool that was built primarily for meeting transcription. Over the years, it has evolved into a full-fledged meeting assistant that converts your conversations in Google Meet, Zoom, and other tools into intelligent notes that you can easily share with others. Otter also comes with a host of collaborative features such as real-time annotations and conversation summaries.

Key Features

  • Note-taking: Otter also has the capability to take notes and transcribe from existing recordings and podcasts.
  • Image Capture: Otter can capture images during a particular. You can then insert these images into your transcript for better context.
  • Meeting Slide: All it takes is a single click to add a meeting slide into any of your notes captured automatically by Otter.

Pros of Otter

  • The tool has a high level of accuracy and can perfectly interpret multiple sounds and speakers while recording.
  • Has an easy-to-use export feature that can effortlessly transform your podcast or video into a blog.
  • Comes with a Chrome extension

Cons of Otter

  • No multi-language support
  • Is a pure transcription software. Doesn’t offer revenue intelligence or conversation intelligence.
  • Doesn’t have an open API.

Pricing

AI Meeting Assistant Pricing

#4 Fireflies

Fireflies is an AI voice assistant that uses the power of Machine learning to capture sales teams' meetings and transcribe them. It even automatically fills all the data gaps in your company’s CRM. Fireflies is particularly known for its smart suggestions, such as the possible tasks your team must do based on a meeting’s direction. It even highlights the actionable items and next steps for the reps.

Key Features

  • Plug and Play Integrations: It can be integrated with some of the top calling tools such as Skype, Google Meet, BlueJeans, and Zoom. It is also perfectly compatible with CRMs like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho.
  • Sound Bites: This feature lets you transform important sections of your calls into shareable snippets that are accessible in your dashboard.
  • Smart Search: You can not only search for target keywords but also elements like metrics, data, time, action items, or even sentiments.

Pros of Fireflies

  • It can transcribe uploaded audio files 
  • Very easy to collaborate with people within your organization and outside
  • Offers excellent search capabilities within notes.

Cons of Fireflies

  • Doesn’t offer a summary of the meetings.
  • Doesn’t offer you the intelligence to make the most out of your meetings.
  • Not suitable for use cases outside of transcription and recording.

Pricing

AI Meeting Assistant Pricing

#5 Sonix.ai

Sonix is an audio and video transcription tool that can convert your meeting recordings into textual content. The brand claims its ability to transcribe 30 minutes of audio or video in less than 5 minutes, making it one of the fastest transcription tools currently available. The best part about Sonix is its multi-user capability that lets users share and invite other team members to work on the same transcript.

Key Features

  • Timestamps: The tool automatically timestamps every word in your transcription text. All you have to do is just click on a word to play the audio from that particular moment.
  • Speaker identification: Sonix can automatically detect speakers in a meeting and separate exchanges to different paragraphs based on that.
  • Comments: You can easily add your notes to the transcript, letting others see what you think of a particular part of the transcript.

Pros of Sonix

  • Supports more than 30 languages.
  • Can be seamlessly integrated with many productivity tools like Zapier, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.
  • Comes with a free plan that lets you explore the tool to your heart’s content before committing to it.

Cons of Sonix

  • It’s purely a transcription tool.  It doesn’t offer deal intelligence or revenue intelligence around your meetings.
  • There is no Chrome extension.
  • The learning curve is a little steep due to the cluttered UI and plenty of features.

Pricing

AI Meeting Assistant Pricing

Conclusion

AI Meeting assistants can help you effortlessly organize, manage, and track meetings. There are so many AI meeting assistants which have not found a spot on this list. That doesn’t mean they are in any way less effective than the ones in this list. The more important thing for you to focus on is selecting the right tool. The rule is simple - the meeting assistant you pick should be a reflection of your use case, fit your budget, and offer all the features that you want. Considering all these factors, Rafiki seems to have an edge over all the other tools thanks to its robust set of features at a great price point.

Interested in Rafiki? Sign up for a free trial now.

California Call Recording Laws: An Overview

In this article, we break down the California Call Recording Laws and what it means for salespeople like you.

Call recording is not something new to sales folks. Many of you might have recorded calls in the past because that’s the only way to keep track of everything your customers or prospects said. 

Now, even though there are no laws that define call recording as legal or illegal in most parts of the world, some countries(or states) have specific laws related to it. These laws particularly focus on the ‘consent’ and ‘purpose’ of call recordings. A state with stringent call recording laws is California. 

According to the California Call Recording Law -

“It is illegal to record calls without the consent of the parties participating in the call.”

When it comes to consent, there are 2 types of consent.

Single Party Consent vs. Two Party Consent

The stringency of California’s call recording laws can be best understood if you know what single-party consent and two-party consent mean. 

Single-party consent means that any one of the participants in the call should be aware that the call is being recorded. Around 38 states in the United States follow single-party consent. If you are a caller from any of these 38 states, it is not mandatory that you need to inform the other person on the call that the call is being recorded.

In a two-party consent state, that law states that all parties involved in the call should give their consent for recording. For example, California call recording laws.

Call recording laws vs. GDPR

Many people confuse California’s call recording laws with GDPR. This is quite understandable because both involve data. But the relationship starts and ends with the storage of data. Let us explain.

Call recording is simply a process of recording calls and storing all the call-related information. GDPR, on the other hand, focuses on protecting any form of data from any channel. GDPR’s goal is to set guidelines for getting consent and storing data in a way that does not tamper with the individual’s privacy.

There is another major difference between the two. Whenever you dial a business number, you might hear the automated message - “this call is being recorded for quality and training purposes.” Now, in case you stay on the line even after listening to the message, it means you have implied your consent for recording. Implied consent is allowed in most call recording laws.

On the other hand, GDPR does not allow any provision for implied consent. Businesses must obtain consent explicitly from the customer before storing any information. It usually involves asking the customer to press a button to approve the recording and another one to disapprove.

Also, GDPR allows customers to access recorded calls and the data stored by the company. If any customer asks for their data, the company is liable to submit it within 30 days, whereas no such rule is there in the call recording laws.

Purpose of Recording Calls

Now that we have seen everything about ‘Consent’, let’s move on to the other component of Recording Laws - ‘Purpose’. Here are top legitimate purposes for recording calls when it comes to sales - 

To identify problem areas

While talking to a customer, you might not be aware of where you went wrong that led to their dissatisfaction. The recording might help identify problem areas in that call and help you rectify them while talking to the same customer in the future.

Valuable records for tracking

Recorded calls are an extremely valuable source of information that can be fed into your company’s CRM. This information can then be used for tracking and follow-up activities that will eventually lead to the closing of the deal.

Evidence for disputes

Disputes in sales calls are quite common. During disputes, call recordings can come in handy as they act as solid evidence, thereby preventing the escalation of the dispute even further. 

Training purposes

Call recordings are also used as training material for new reps in the company. The recording can teach them how to approach a customer, convince them, and sell the product or service.

Tips to follow while recording calls

Your sales call recordings are useful only if they are clear and understandable. To ensure that, follow the below tips - 

Inform straightaway

Always start your conversations by saying that the call is being recorded. And don’t forget to cite the purpose of recording the call. It will help the other party be better aware of their speech.

Listen

It is not wise to let the recording do all the work for you. It’s always better to listen to what the customer has to say and ask all your questions right away. You are recording the conversation mainly to gather valuable information from it. Unless it covers everything you need to know, there is no point in recording the calls.

Do not mumble

A common mistake that many make is mumbling. This makes it very difficult to listen to and understand the conversation later. Hence makes sure that all the parties on the call are speaking clearly without any noise.

Have control over your tone

Do not be over-anxious or lethargic during the call. Both of them can have a devastating effect on the call outcome. But more importantly, they can make your call recording seem unclear and uninteresting. 

Call recording with Rafiki

Rafiki is a conversational intelligence software that lets you focus on calls while it records, transcribes, and captures key moments from it. Our customers use Rafiki for a variety of purposes, including training newly-hired members, identifying strengths and drawbacks of employees, search and scanning specific information in the call to name a few. All of Rafiki's customers use Rafiki's state-of-the-art insights from their customer conversations to build sales playbooks that win, compare meetings, understand conversation patterns, and even follow up with prospects post their meetings. Rafiki helps salespeople close more deals faster with confidence.

Rafiki complies with California Call Recording laws by providing users with various features and options to make sure that everyone in the call is aware that the call is being recorded. Within Rafiki's dashboard, you can also control which of your meetings get recorded so you have full control over the data you want Rafiki to analyze. Moreover, Rafiki is also SOC2 compliant ensuring that all data within Rafiki is tightly secured.

10 Best Sales Books That Help New B2B Sales Reps Win More

It’s never easy to teach sales. The sheer complexity of the field and the tightly intertwined processes make it a daunting task to share knowledge. Thankfully, there are many pearls of wisdom scattered here and there, left by many successful salespeople across the globe. And all those tiny bits of knowledge have been compiled in the form of several best-selling books on sales. 

In this post, let’s look at 10 best sales books that will help reps win more. 

10 Best Sales Books for B2B Sales Reps to Win More!

#1 Way of the Wolf – Jordan Belfort

Authored by Jordan Belfort, the Way of Wolf is rightly considered the ‘Bible of Sales’. In this book, the author has covered the art of persuasion and the steps to convince prospects to purchase from you. He has talked about a very important aspect of selling – how to strike an effective conversation with your prospects. 

Key Takeaways from the book:

  • A perfect sale is only made when it is presented neatly to the customers. It is important to pitch your product subtly yet powerfully. 
  • A sale can be made only when the rep has an emotional connect with the prospect. 
  • The way you communicate with the prospects dictates how the prospects perceive you. And it’s not limited to the first 5 seconds but to the entire conversation.

Favorite quote from the book:

“You do not want to try to resolve their pain at this point. In fact, if anything, you want to amplify that pain.” 

Fun fact: This book was immortalized by the popular movie “Wolf of the Wall Street” starring Leanardo Decaprio.

#2 Sell or be sold – Grant Cardone

A must-read for all sales folks, this book is a warehouse of sales tricks and is one of the best sales books. The author has highlighted the importance of being careful and proactive when it comes to selling a product or service. The author himself is a notable sales trainer, and this book is a summary of all his personal experiences. 

Key Takeaways:

  • You must be 100% sold on your product. When you yourself are not convinced about the value of the product, you cannot convince others. 
  • Price is never a concern for your buyers. Similarly, a dull economy can never be a reason for a failed sale. 
  • There is no shortcut to becoming a successful sales rep. You have to sell and learn from each sale.

Favorite quote from the book 

The amount of success is limited by the amount of action you take” 

#3 Spin Selling – Neil Rackham

Most salespeople might already know about SPIN selling. However, not many know that this methodology was derived from the book ‘SPIN Selling’ by Neil Rackham. He introduced the concept of SPIN selling in the form of a series of questions that need to be asked to a prospect before moving on with a sale. The book is a compilation of case studies, success stories, and experimental observations from over 35,000 sales calls.

Key Takeaways:

  • The best way to stop objections from coming up in the first place is by asking implication questions. How is their pain point making them lose time, money, effort, etc.
  • Questions are a much more effective tool than pressure in the world of sales.
  • While talking to prospects, keep repeating the main benefits of your product and then suggest the next logical step for them to take.

Favorite quote from the book :

“The building of perceived value is probably the single most important selling skill in larger sales.” 

#4 To Sell is Human – Daniel Pink

In this book, Daniel Pink points out that everyone born in this world is a salesperson, either directly or indirectly. We are constantly selling ourselves and our ideas daily, both at work and at home. The author talks about the ABC of sales viz. Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity. He also takes us through the various strategies of selling, how the field has evolved over the years, and what it takes to become a successful seller, all with the help of illustrations, real-life incidents, and facts. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Sales is not about inducing pressure in the minds of the prospects but making their lives better.
  • Successful salespeople are good listeners. They always try to understand the buyer’s perspective before selling.
  • Sales is always about catching tiny little signals during your conversations with the prospects. Particularly, pay attention to why prospects are saying ‘No’, so that you can handle the objections better.

Favorite quote from the book :

“To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources—not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.”

#5 Fanatical Prospecting – Jeb Blount

This book by Jeb Blount primarily focuses on the art of prospecting. He says that reps must be aggressive and relentless in their efforts to become successful B2B sales experts. According to Blount, finding good prospects is more important than being an expert in closing deals. Because having good prospects automatically gets your work done. 

Key Takeaways:

  • An empty sales pipeline is the biggest reason for reps to not succeed in sales An empty sales pipeline is the result of the reps’ inability to prospect consistently.
  • There are three laws that every salesperson must follow -
    • Prospects are available everywhere.
    • Every ‘No’ takes you closer to a ‘Yes’
    • Continue marching towards the goal until it is reached.

Favorite quote from the book :

“There is no easy button in sales. Prospecting is hard, emotionally draining work, and it is the price you have to pay to earn a high income.” 

#6 The Challenger Sale – Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson

In this book, the author defines a Challenger as someone who is able to identify the customer’s problem and offer their product as the best solution tactfully. Like SPIN, the Challenger sales methodology is one of the oldest methodologies still in existence. It is used as a tool to achieve greater conversions by taking control of the sales process.

Key Takeaways:

  • Probe the customer with questions to find out more information about themselves, their business, and their pain points and to get them to think that there is no better alternative than your product. 
  • Challengers are made, not born. It's the skills they gain over the years that matter.
  • Building a Challenger sales force is a long journey. You cannot build such a competent workforce in a day.

Favorite quote from the book:

“After all, there’s usually little stopping your competition from discounting their way to a win. In that game, loyalty is essentially irrelevant, as customers aren’t looking for a partner, they’re looking for a bargain.” 

#7 How I raised myself from failure to success in selling – Frank Bettger

The author, Frank Bettger, takes us through the numerous failures he has come across during his lifetime as a salesperson. According to this book, a common salesperson tends to give up after a few tries and move on. But a successful one never gives up and always tries to get to the top even after failing many times. Resilience, patience, and hard work are some of the key characteristics of such a salesperson.

Key Takeaways:

  • Focus on making your . 
  • Know A-Z about your business and stay abreast with all the latest happenings. This will give you the confidence to win over the prospects.
  • Listen with keen ears to the pain points of the prospects. And always try to take the focus away from you during a sales conversation. It’s always them.

Favorite quote from the book:

“Failures mean nothing at all if success comes eventually. And that’s a thought that should cheer you up and help you keep on keeping on when the going seems hard. Keep going! Each week, each month, you are improving. One day soon, you will find a way to do the thing that today looks impossible.” 

#8 The Ultimate Sales Machine – Chet Holmes

In this book, the author explains that to be a successful B2B salesperson, one must have 4 characteristics imbibed in them – prospecting, presenting, closing, and service. These four characteristics help a salesperson find the right prospect, pitch their product in the most presentable manner, and close the deal. He has filled the book with tips, tricks, and strategies that are useful for both newbie salespeople and experienced ones.

Key Takeaways:

  • Continuously train your sales staff. This is the best way to make them a sales machine.
  • A sales machine never sells just the product. They sell the brand and the history of the store.
  • Try to reach the decision-maker as early as possible. It is particularly important in large companies where you will be going on a wild goose chase otherwise.

Favorite quote from the book:

“Use market data, not product data. Set the buying criteria in your favor. Find the “smoking gun,” the one thing that undeniably positions you over everyone else. Make sure you hit their pain points. Include your own pitch for your product or service only after you have covered the education thoroughly.” 

#9 Never Split the Difference – Chris Voss

Negotiating is one of the key skills of a salesperson, and this entire book revolves around it. It has been a guidebook for many salespeople in recent years. According to it, the key to becoming a successful negotiator is to empathize with the prospect, get a hold of their perspective and find a common ground to negotiate.

Key Takeaways:

  • In every negotiation scenario, there are at least two groups. The easiest way to reach a positive climax is by understanding what each party wants from the other.
  • Your prospects want to be understood. They want you to make the effort to understand what can help them currently to succeed in their business. 
  • Always find questions or topics that the prospect will be happy to answer. It’s the best path to understand their point of view and what they think about their pain points.

Favorite quote from the book:

“He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.”

#10 The Greatest Salesman in the World – OG Mandino

OG Mandino’s book “The Greatest Salesman in the World” is fictitious yet an eye-opener for many salespeople. The book follows the story of a young guy Hamid who grew up in a small village in the Middle East and later moved to the United States and made a living by selling paper products. The story captures the entire life story of Hamid, including how he had an idea, how he started selling, how he failed and learnt from his mistakes, and how he eventually became the ‘the greatest salesman in the world’.

Key Takeaways:

  • In any selling process, you must follow time-tested principles. Follow those principles and make them into habits. 
  • Be persistent. No matter how many times you fail, it is important to look at each failure as a stepping stone to success and an opportunity to learn something new.
  • It’s impossible to absorb all the feelings of customers during conversations. Humans are complex creatures. You, as a salesperson, have to transform yourself into a positive source of empathy and hear them out. This way, you can convert them into customers.

Favorite quote from the book:

“Wealth, my son, should never be your goal in life. Your words are eloquent but they are mere words. True wealth is of the heart, not of the purse.” 

Wrapping Up

And those are the best sales books every B2B sales rep must read to overcome obstacles and become successful in their career. All these books educate, enlighten, and leave you with a lot more knowledge about selling than you will have before reading them. Many of these books can even become your mentors, as you can keep revisiting them whenever you encounter an issue in your sales career.

If you are a sales manager or a leader, you can also use sales coaching software to improve the knowledge of your reps and make them better at selling. Rafiki is currently the #1 sales coaching software in 2022. It offers advanced solutions that can help new B2B reps win more.

How to promote cross-functional collaboration in a hybrid environment?

Any company's success solely relies on how its employees come together, keep together, and work together. Take any successful project in your organization. You will find that there is one common thread linking all of them - cross-functional collaboration.

In this post, we're going to dive deep and understand everything about cross-functional collaboration in a hybrid environment and the right tool to help you with it.

What is cross-functional collaboration in a hybrid environment?

When collaboration happens between employees working from the office and those working from home across all departments, you have cross-functional collaboration in a hybrid environment.

Zoom call during hybrid work.
Zoom call in a hybrid environment

Here are some common examples of cross-functional collaboration in a hybrid environment

  • The sales team (working from home) and the development team (working at the office) are discussing the ETA of a custom feature that one of the prospects requested.
  • The development team (working from the office) and the testing team (working from a coworking space) are collaborating to eliminate all the bugs in the application.
  • The sales team (sitting at the customer’s place) is interacting with the customer success team (working from home) about the possibilities of an upsell.

Factors that get in the way of cross-functional collaboration in a hybrid environment

1. Poor selection of tools

Poor selection of tools can often result in information losses, communication gaps, and interpersonal conflicts, all of which can push the teams away from achieving their common goal. 

For instance, imagine a call taking place between the sales team in the US and the development team. The former is explaining the latter about the newest requirement of a client in the application. Now, without a proper tool, most of the important information can be lost, especially if the development hasn’t taken any notes(to focus on the call) or recorded the call.

However, when you use a tool like Rafiki, all your calls are automatically recorded and transcribed, letting your teams focus on the call. 

2. Lack of transparency

In a hybrid environment, everyone is an avatar on screen - a severe lack of personal touch. Most people do not know whether to trust colleagues from their contemporary team with all the information related to a project or not. As a result of this fear, teams start putting their tasks that impact the common company goal at the bottom of their day’s pile.

3. Improperly aligned common goals

Many teams not only make the mistake of setting misaligned goals but also fail to define the roles and responsibilities of individual team members working towards them. The result is chaos as nobody knows what they are working for, how to work, and why it is vital to achieving that goal in the first place.

4. Linguistic and Cultural Barriers

Many companies have started hiring beyond their borders, thanks to the hybrid working model. However, this comes at a cost. Though most speak English, it does not necessarily mean that everyone can follow along. Factors such as accents, local references, or cultural differences can make everyday communication difficult. ,. 

How to promote cross-functional collaboration in a hybrid environment?

Cross-functional collaboration during hybrid work
Cross-functional collaboration during hybrid work

1. Pick the right tools

The most fundamental step is selecting the right tools for your arsenal. Since your teams are at different places in a hybrid environment, the tools you pick will be the primary way they collaborate instead of face-to-face interactions. Gartner has found that there has been a 44% increase in employees’ use of collaboration tools in recent times. 

The tools you choose should facilitate both seamless communication and track and record the conversations for later references. It should be able to record, transcribe, and capture key moments of every discussion and share them with all the stakeholders.

Rafiki checks all the above boxes and can be a valuable addition to your team to promote cross-functional collaboration. Sign up for a free 14-day trial now. 

2. Set the ground rules

Setting ground rules in a hybrid environment is critical because the chances of conflicts are high. Here are some simple ground rules you can establish - 

  • Be clear on the expectations from everyone towards achieving the common goal. 
  • Highlight what each member needs to do so that no one feels overburdened. 
  • Give your team a clear sense of how everyone is expected to behave during a meeting. Adopting the right virtual meeting etiquette instills a sense of professionalism and confidence in employees.
  • Give them the liberty to speak their point of view, even if it means disagreeing with someone. After all, the cross-functional collaboration aims to find better solutions by bringing diverse people together. 
  • Bring transparency to how financial decisions are taken and ensure all stakeholders are on board.

3. Create KPIs to measure collaboration success

Cross-functional collaboration tends to create the illusion of no accountability in a hybrid environment. The best way to avoid this is by setting up Key Performance Indicators that are measurable in a remote environment. Use these KPIs to track the progress of different teams in attaining the common goal. More importantly, you must reward individuals or teams for high performance.

4. Arrange discussions in the right frequency and duration

Having too many discussions(or too long) in the name of cross-functional collaboration doesn’t leave enough time for your teams to work toward the common goal. 

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set up discussions. On the contrary, you must set up regular discussions between your teams as they are an essential part of cross-functional collaboration. 

But you must ensure that these meetings do not last more than 10 minutes. Longer meetings can be reserved exclusively for discussing important updates, planning new goals, or celebrating milestones.

Drawbacks of not having cross-functional collaboration in a hybrid environment

When you do not encourage cross-functional collaboration in your organization, you can experience the following drawbacks - 

1. Waste of employees’ time

When your cross-functional teams are not collaborating effectively, it can impact your bottom line. For instance, imagine an employee from the sales team is searching for an important document for hours when it could have been instantly provided by the customer success team. Such situations are bound to crop up if you haven’t promoted cross-functional collaboration in your organization.

2. Loss of talent

Companies across the world are promoting their adoption of a hybrid environment to attract talent. And cross-functional collaboration is an essential part of a hybrid environment. When an organization doesn’t promote cross-functional collaboration, it is considered ‘old school’. Candidates will refrain from joining such an organization. Even employees will move out of such organizations, resulting in a human capital crisis. A study shows that around 99.1% want to be part of an organization that encourages communication.

3. Less Engaged Employees

When there is no cross-functional collaboration in your organization, you will experience decreased productivity due to less engaged employees. Without cross-functional collaboration, your teams will feel less connected with one another, which can cause an environment of mistrust in your organization. A study shows that companies that promoted collaboration were 5 times more likely to be high performing.

4. Reduces creativity

Cross-functional collaboration breeds creativity as it encourages ideas to flow from all sides of the organization. When there is no collaboration, creativity automatically goes down. Lack of collaboration narrows everyone’s perspective and reduces their problem-solving skills.

How does Rafiki promote cross-functional collaboration in a hybrid environment?

Rafiki is a conversation intelligence tool that tracks every conversation in cross-functional collaboration and provides valuable insights from it. Here are the different ways in which Rafiki can promote cross-functional collaboration in a hybrid environment 

  • Rafiki automatically records, transcribes, and analyses all your meetings.
  • With Rafiki, you can create snippets of key meeting moments, add them to a playlist and share them with your colleagues.   
  • Rafiki’s Call Notes and Moments, ensure your teams can focus on the discussion instead of jotting down every word. This helps them stay present in the meeting and contribute instead of focussing on mundane note-taking tasks. The best part? Rafiki automatically sorts the meeting notes by topic and syncs the notes directly to your CRM.
  • Time-stamped comments, scorecards for each call, conversation metrics such as talk-listen ratio, question rate, interactivity, and a whole host of other features ensure that your team is completely in sync. 

Conclusion

Cross-functional collaboration is that binding agent which brings different teams together in your organization and gets them to rally for a common cause. It fosters creativity, productivity, and trust among your employees, thus ensuring organizational success. As you have seen in this post, picking the right tool is the key to promoting cross-functional collaboration. 

A tool like Rafiki can be an asset for your organization. It can not only track every communication but also offer tips and insights that can help improve future communication and get your teams closer to that final goal. Explore the power of Rafiki on your own by signing up for a free 14-day trial.

5 must-read books for startup founders in 2022

Startups evolve rapidly. New founders are left with no choice but to adapt quickly.

And one major consequence of this - many strategies related to startups fail to stand the test of time.

But there are some exceptions.

Certain time-tested pearls of wisdom related to startups are still available today in the form of books.

To borrow a popular quote - “It's no secret that to learn more, one has to read more.”

Yes, the best place to kickstart your learning about the startup ecosystem is ‘books.’ This collection of thoughts is a treasure trove of knowledge that teaches you everything and anything from managing time to managing your employees.

We also understand that as a startup founder, you will not have the luxury to search for books, read reviews, and zero in on these books.

So to cut you some slack, we have come up with 5 must-read books for every startup founder out there to have a successful run in the startup world.

#1 Zero to One

This book offers a deep glimpse of how startup ventures are meant to be. Authored by Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal and an early investor in Facebook, this book is full of challenging ideas backed by solid justifications that are apt for various startup scenarios.  

While this book is ideal for those building tech startups, there are a bunch of brilliant ideas that could contribute to your growth as a startup founder, irrespective of the domain.

Going From Zero To One According To Peter Thiel

# 2 The lean startup

Authored by Eric Ries and a bestseller on Amazon, this book not only showcases how to operate your startup but also how to use minimal resources to do it. Most startups do not have adequate capital to fund their ventures in the initial days. This is where the Lean Startup comes in handy. 

This book is replete with ideas such as favoring experimentation over planning, customer feedback over assumptions, and iterative design over the traditional waterfall model. Many of the ideas proposed by this book, such as Minimum Viable Product and prioritizing customer feedback, have already made a mark in most modern startups. 

Eric Ries talks about his book at Google

#3 Blue Ocean strategy

This book is perfect for three kinds of startup founders -

  • The ones who love to adopt a customer-centric approach
  • Those who want to avoid competition when they set afoot in the startup world. 
  • Those who are already established but need to distinguish themselves from their rival brands

Yes, you guessed it right, basically this book is for every startup founder out there. This book encourages startup founders to stay out of the red ocean of competition by tapping into uncontested market spaces. This involves creating and capturing new demands, redefining market boundaries, etc.

The crux of the blue ocean strategy is value and innovation. This is not just about technology innovation or being the first to enter the market in a new category. Instead, it is all about redefining the problem, crossing market boundaries, and serving exceptional value to the buyers.

Blue Ocean Strategy

#4 Hooked

Questions like these race through our minds more often than not - 

  • How do some products capture widespread attention, while others fail?
  • What makes us like some products and not others?
  • Why do certain technologies hook us? 

The book Hooked has all the answers for you. Authored by Nir Ayal, this book is the end product of years of research, consulting, practical knowledge, and experience of the author. The book is for marketers, designers, product managers, and mainly startup founders who are keen to understand how products influence human behavior.

#5 Start with why

This book revolves around a simple but powerful quote - “People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do.” When you know why you do something, you have a sense of belonging, and customers resonate with that. This is a very important lesson for all newbie startup founders out there. The book tells you to communicate why, then follow it with how, and finally reveal what you actually do. 

Starting with Why

Winding up…

The above-suggested books can greatly contribute to your startup growth. As a founder, your job is to pick valuable lessons from these books and apply them to your startup. 

Initially, all of your strategies come from customer feedback. As founders, you have to be on the ground with your customers helping them all the way through.  These details are critical to your business, but what if a tool records and helps you turn those insights into actions that have a significant business impact - that too with minimal intervention. That’s Rafiki for you.

Rafiki gives deep data about all conversations in the organization
Rafiki gives you deep, granular insights into all your conversations.

Rafiki records, transcribes, and analyses all your customer-facing meetings. The conversation intelligence platform creates automatic notes and allows your team to create meeting video snippets that they can use both internally and externally for following up on action items. Apart from creating a treasure trove of knowledge for your business, Rafiki also ensures that your meetings convert to closed deals by helping you deliver a seamless buying experience for your customers.

From automatically creating meeting notes to helping you develop a deal-winning strategy, Rafiki is the only tool that ensures all your customer conversations convert to closed deals. Want to know more? Book a free consultation with our product experts now.

P.S: Unlike other conversation intelligence solutions, Rafiki has no user minimums. It even has a metered pricing option, and special prices for startups.

10 Must-Have SaaS tools for startups in 2022

Let me begin this post with an encouraging fact for all SaaS startup enthusiasts - The industry is growing at a staggering rate of 18% year on year.
The growth of SaaS startups in the last decade is nothing short of a fairy tale. The top contributors to this meteoric rise were a customer-centric approach, a strong partner network, and product-led growth.

Then came the pandemic that brought a transformational opportunity for various SaaS startups to extend boundaries beyond their traditional audiences. This opportunity catalyzed the growth even more! 

However, such unprecedented growth comes with its own set of challenges. For starters, the competition is stiff among SaaS startups, making it an uphill climb for new ones to capitalize on the overall industry growth.

The only way for such new SaaS startups to rise above their competition is to improve their productivity and efficiency. And what better way to improve it than using various tools available in the market. This post recommends the top-10 tools a SaaS startup must own today for increased productivity.

1. No-code website builders such as Webflow

Your website acts as a conversion engine that either encourages or discourages a purchase from your company. There is massive pressure on your shoulders to build a professional website for your business. However, it is not easy without the help of some professional web development, which can be out of budget for most early-stage SaaS startups.

Using Webflow, you can transform your whole web development process and make it seamless. The best part? Your website can be managed by your sales team or design team without any prior coding knowledge, giving you better productivity. 

Webflow home page

2. Tracking tools such as HotJar or PageSense

Tracking tools help you get valuable information about your visitors. These tools track key metrics related to user behavior on your site. The insights generated can help you understand user needs better and offer them a personalized experience. Gone are the days when you shot arrows in the dark, gave visitors a one-size-fits-all solution, and expected them to buy your product without questions. Today, you need the help of tracking tools such as HotJar or PageSense to offer users exactly what they want, exactly where they look for it and turn them into loyal customers.

Hotjar home page
Zoho PageSense home page

3. Video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Google Meet

Video conferencing platforms helped businesses to get going or stay operational despite hurdles like pandemics in the past. Today it has become a core component of everyday communication for most startups. Modern-day video conferencing tools like Zoom offer several features, including app and screen sharing facilities for running meetings seamlessly from the comfort of our homes. From whiteboard notes to meeting recordings, you can store, retrieve or analyze any Zoom meeting without hassles. 

Zoom home page
Google meet home page

4. Productivity Suites such as G-Suite or Zoho One

Imagine how good it will be if you have a single application that lets you create, communicate, and share information. A productivity suite like G-suite or Zoho One does it for you. Now named Google Workspace, it comprises robust apps like Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, and Docs that meet various purposes and let you manage your everyday workflow. 

Zoho One home page
Google Workspace home page

5. Social Media tools such as Hootsuite

When you are a brand new SaaS business, leads and customers are hard to attract even if your product is good. Cold outreach can take time and is not super-reliable. Hence, the easiest way to deepen your relationships with your stakeholders or prospects is by using social media. Branding tools such as Hootsuite help your business build a deeply engaging social media presence.

From social listening on platforms to engaging in AI-powered social e-commerce, you can do them all with such tools. Hootsuite has a scalable platform and strong industry partnerships. It can uncover deep insights about your target audience and get you one step closer to converting them.

Hootsuite home page

6. CRM such as HubSpot, Zoho, or Freshsales

A CRM is a bridge between your business and the customers. It can be difficult for your sales team to juggle multiple tools for connecting with the customers. But having a robust CRM like HubSpot, Zoho, or Freshsales can help build meaningful conversations with your customers through contextual engagement before demos, after which tools such as Rafiki take over. You can drive leads to close and manage different pipelines seamlessly via a CRM and conversation intelligence integration. Choosing tools that support this integration is critical as it would be the gold mine of information for your startup to understand gaps across product, pitch, and customer expectations.

HubSpot CRM home page
Zoho CRM home page
Freshsales home page

7. Omnichannel engagement tools like Intercom

A survey states that about 88% of customers expect an online self-service portal from a business. Support articles such as FAQs, product manuals, and chat assistance are table stakes and not a luxury anymore. To prepare a support article base, aka knowledge base articles, you can use tools such as Intercom. Apart from enabling the curation and publication of help articles, Intercom also doubles up as an omnichannel customer engagement platform. Chats, emails, Help articles, in-product banners, and product tours are some of its features. Intercom even offers exclusive pricing plans for startups to help you get started.

Intercom home page

8. Time management tools like Hubstaff

If you are looking to eliminate inefficiencies and incorporate streamlined time management for your projects, then Hubstaff is the tool. Hubstaff helps manage time for each project by identifying roadblocks, managing invoices, creating detailed reports, and much more. It integrates with 30+ popular software, including Github, Asana, Trello, and Paypal, making your work-life simple.

Hubstaff home page

9. Collaboration tools like Slack

Collaborating with teams and with clients has to be quick, seamless, and reliable for a business to run in good health. Tools like Slack allows you to automate routine actions and communications so that your team can focus on their primary objectives without any problems. Slack comes with an array of features that lets you share and manage files, create polls, set reminders, etc.

Slack home page

10. Conversation intelligence tools such as Gong or Rafiki

In a startup, most of the core team's time gets spent on redundant tasks such as recording customer interactions, taking notes, analyzing them for product insights, feeding the information to CRM, and so on. 

What if this time gets spent on pitching to leads and closing deals and not on manual tasks like note-taking that can easily be automated? That is precisely what Rafiki or Gong helps you do. While Gong focuses on enterprise customers, Rafiki is more suited for SMBs.

Gong home page

Rafiki is a conversation intelligence platform that integrates with your CRM (Not just Salesforce or HubSpot), Google calendar, Google Meet, and Zoom, to name a few. It records and transcribes your meetings, captures key topics and moments from your meeting conversations, and even generates automatic notes sorted by topics to get you started.

Rafiki home page

While traditional conversation intelligence solutions stop with analyzing meetings, Rafik is the only solution that allows you to contextually follow up with your prospects and ensure your deals close. 

High-growth teams at Hippo-Video, Businessfirst.io, and ZeroBroker trust Rafiki's insights for their sales productivity. No minimum license mandates, one-click integration with SMB-focused CRMs such as Zoho, Freshsales, Pipedrive, and affordable pricing make Rafiki the default choice for SaaS startups.

Built for SMBs, Rafiki is highly affordable, easy to use, set up, and offers a free trial with all the features of an enterprise-grade tool for a fraction of the cost. It even has exclusive follow-up and tracking features that help increase the prospect engagement rate post-demos that no other platform offers. 

Winding-up

The above list of tools will help you become more efficient and help you materialize your startup vision on the ground. If you are a SaaS startup starting anew or have a limited budget, then G-Suite, Webflow, A CRM, Rafiki, and Zoom should be a part of your tool stack to navigate the initial days. The remaining tools can follow once you have customers and some revenue.